Construction on Portage Street will begin on Monday, April 5 as a coordinated infrastructure project gets underway between Stockbridge Avenue and E Michigan Avenue. The project will upgrade water main, reconstruct the street, and make numerous improvements based on the Edison Neighborhood Plan and Imagine Kalamazoo Master Plan.
Work will start in the area between Stockbridge Avenue and Carr Street and gradually move north on Portage and Pitcher Streets to E Michigan Avenue as the project progresses. Work is expected to be completed in November.
This project includes critical infrastructure improvements but also incorporates many elements identified in the Edison Neighborhood Plan and the Imagine Kalamazoo Master Plan. The $5.1 million investment will upgrade the undersized water main and replace part of the storm sewer. The three-lane road diet will be continued north from where it currently ends at Walnut Street on Portage Street to near E Michigan Avenue on Pitcher Street. Bike lanes will also be added on this section of the street.
Pedestrian improvements will also be made throughout the project area, including repairing sidewalks, new ADA sidewalk ramps, and safety enhancements at crosswalks. Lighting will be improved near Washington Square and the western sidewalks between Stockbridge Avenue and Washington Street will be widened, which will also accommodate new protected parallel parking. On-street parallel parking will also be added on the east side of the street between Collins Street and Lake Street, near the Creamery Development.
Two-way traffic will be maintained throughout the project, but drivers should expect delays at times related to construction. As new water main is connected to the system, there will be brief disruptions to water service to some properties in the project area. Precautionary water advisories should also be expected as a part of this infrastructure work. Affected residents will be notified in advance of any impacts to their water service.
The Portage Street project is slated to receive $720,000 of federal funding and $850,000 of State funding for the roadway improvements. The remainder of the project costs are split between the City of Kalamazoo’s Major Streets and Water funds. The project bidding process was completed by the Michigan Department of Transportation, and the Kalamazoo City Commission approved the contract with the State of Michigan for this work at its February 1, 2021 meeting.
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